Saturday, May 9, 2015

Charles H. Wharton Center with Eddi Minche, photos by Karen, David, and Jean

It was a perfect day for our trip to Wharton Conservation Center in Tate City, GA.
Our hostess, Eddi Minch welcomed us and introduced Jerry McCollum, CEO of the Georgia Wildlife Federation which manages the property.  Charles Wharton, noted conservationist, left the 129-acre property to GWF upon his death.  Plans are to develop the center into a education and research center honoring the memory of Dr. Wharton.
Eddi then led us on a beautiful walk to a magnificent 94’ waterfall - with many wildflowers along the way.  We also saw the swinging bridge that Charlie used and the house he built when he retired from teaching.
We then walked to his original cabin, had lunch on the deck and were entertained with “Charlie” stories by Jerry McCollum.
After lunch Eddie led us to another beautiful waterfall - and more wildflowers.
You can learn more about the Wharton Center at
Jean Hunnicutt
                                         Karen's photos:
Beech Creek
Lunch on the porch
The cabin on Beech Creek
Dan, Jerry McCullom, and Don
Trailhead at end of road

David's photos:

Jean's photo:
Eddi Minch

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Smith Gilbert Garden 2015 Trip--Photos by David Fann and Bob Gilbert

The morning began with a terrible rain storm and we all thought that our trip to the gardens would not take place!  However, the skies cleared and we had a glorious early spring trip to a beautiful gardens.
We had as our guide, Bob Gilbert, who with Richard Smith developed the gardens and restored the lovely home.  We started our trip in the house where Bob explained the history and the restoration of each room.
After our house tour, we had a wonderful box lunch in the carriage house.  During lunch, we were serenaded by a Red-shoulder Hawk.  He was so vocal that we decided that he wanted to be invited to lunch, too.
We were introduced to David,  the horticulturist for the gardens.  Although he went along with us and was very knowledgeable, Bob Gilbert was our guide through the gardens.
Along our first path, we encountered the enormous D'Or holly.  It was crammed full of yellow berries!  As we continued along the paths, we were treated to lovely blooming plants and trees: azaleas, hybrid rhododendron, green dragon, Solomon's seal, Pagoda Dogwood, and the spectacular Gray Beard.  Bob told us wonderful stories of the different sculptures and of the "Tea-House" set in a lovely rock garden and water feature.
Not to be missed was the bonsai garden!  Most of Bob's bonsai are there now.
Even though the afternoon rain cut our visit to the conifer garden a bit short, it was a lovely visit.  If you have not visited this treasure, put it on your bucket list and get there.   Nancy Davis

Rhodendron austrinum Florida Azalea 
Finge Tree
Witch Hazel

Robinia pseudoacacia Black Locust variety ‘Frisia’ 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Plants that Work for a Living

An avid group of SAPS members attended Lisa Wagner's program on Native Plants for Pollinators at the library in Franklin.

While many of us may have been familiar with the plants suggested for use in attracting pollinating creatures, it was great to be reminded of their importance to our ecology and to our survival!

Lisa is passionate about her subject and exquisitely knowledgeable about the topic.  She gave us practical suggestions on providing a landscape which promotes diversity and sustenance for the entire food chain.  Pretty is great but pretty also has to work for a living!

Visit her website here for additional information on the subject of Natural Gardening.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Description of Roadside Geology Program and Hike at Tallulah Gorge by Joyce Hall with Photos by David Fann


"What a treasure Tallulah Gorge is particularly when one is informed by Bill Witherspoon about  the geology.  Bill had all the fascinating facts about how the geology changed history.  How nice it would have been for Atlanta's water supply if the Tugaloo had not been captured by the Tallulah & Chattooga sending the water down to the Atlantic rather than flowing through Georgia to the Gulf.  He told of many  stream captures that change the landscapes.   To a question about the detriment of dams to geology, Bill  stated it was of no importance.   "The silt will fill in the dams and leave not a trace------in a few million years".  Bill added at least from a geologist prospective  dams are unimportant, smiling so as not to offend others who are opposed to dam building.
If you missed the program I highly recommend you check out another site around the state (Ga) when Bill Witherspoon will be giving another program.  Expect a crowd.  I think he is getting rock star status. ".Joyce Hall

Going Down

In the Visitor Center

Overlook Lecture 1

Overlook Lecture 2

Stairway Cleanup Crew

The bridge we later crossed

The Gorge

The River